Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Keynote Address : An Evening with Helen Zia -The Asian American Emergence
Helen Zia is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People and a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. President Bill Clinton quoted from Asian American Dreams at two separate speeches in the Rose Garden. Zia is also coauthor, with Wen Ho Lee, of My Country Versus Me, which reveals what happened to the Los Alamos scientist who was falsely accused of being a spy for China in the "worst case since the Rosenbergs." Zia is an award-winning journalist and former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine. She was named one of the "Most Influential Asian Americans of the Decade" by A. Magazine. She has received numerous journalism awards for her groundbreaking stories; her investigation of date rape at the University of Michigan led to campus demonstrations and an overhaul of its policies, while her research on women who join neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations provoked new thinking on the relationship between race and gender violence in hate crimes. Zia received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the Law School of the City University of New York for bringing important matters of law and civil rights into public view. She is a graduate of Princeton University's first graduating class of women. She quit medical school after completing two years, then went to work as a construction laborer, an autoworker, and a community organizer, after which she discovered her life's work as a writer.